Surveys That Work

By Caroline Jarrett

  • Surveys That Work Cover
  • You haven’t done surveys before, and you don’t necessarily plan on doing them often (or even ever again). But right now, getting some large-sample statistical data would be useful. Or maybe a someone says “well, let’s just do a survey”, and you want to make sure you do a good one.

    My book will help you to:

    1. Decide whether a survey is the right thing to do
    2. Choose how to go about it
    3. Be confident that you will get good, useful data.

    I’ll cover two approaches that work in practice:

    • Choose a single question and get it in front of some users. Keep it ultra-short and ultra-simple, and you’ll have data that’s a whole lot better than wasting time fighting an opinion war; or
    • Work though a five-step survey process that takes you from investigating what you need to find out to delivering the results.

    In this book, I’ll be drawing on what the survey methodologists have found out through experimenting for full-strength requirements like United States Census 2010. But most of us don’t have the resources of a big government department. So in each step, there will be plenty of practical tips and short-cuts.

    The bottom line? In this book, you’ll find just what you need to know about surveys: the least you need to know to do a survey well, with the smallest amount of effort.

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    Table of Contents

    • Chapter 1:  Investigate—Establish your goals and resources
    • Chapter 2:  Investigate—Interview first
    • Chapter 3:  Investigate—Do you still need (or want) to do a survey?
    • Chapter 4:  Create—Write questions and make a question protocol
    • Technical interlude:  The difference between a Likert scale and a Likert-type scale
    • Chapter 5:  Create—Design your sample
    • Chapter 6:  Create—Design your administration strategy
    • Chapter 7:  Create—Test the question protocol and administration strategy
    • Chapter 8:  Develop—Build the instrument (the question-and-answer sequence)
    • Technical interlude:  How many points to use in a response scale?
    • Chapter 9:  Develop—Run the pilot
    • Chapter 10:  Develop—Review your goals and resources
    • Chapter 11:  Deploy—Run the survey
    • Chapter 12:  Deliver—Clean the data: how to deal with oddities and exceptions
    • Chapter 13:  Deliver—Collate the answers: turn data into insights
    • Chapter 14:  Deliver—Statistics and why you should avoid them
    • Chapter 15:  Deliver—Present your results: making your point